Since World Suicide Prevention Day, recognizing the reality of suicide helps people view these deaths with more understanding and compassion, and recognizes the importance of helping others get help. , can help you deal with your own mental health issues if you’re struggling, says Nami.
Below, experts dispel common myths about suicide.
Myth: Everyone who attempts suicide has a mental illness
“Only certain people experience suicidal thoughts and have mental health conditions,” said clinical psychologist Michael Roske, senior director of the Newport Health Care Center for Research and Innovation. is one of the myths,” he said.
“Many people don’t necessarily fit the criteria for a mental health disorder, but in very stressful situations, losing important jobs, learning about long-term infidelity with their spouses, and thinking, ‘Oh my god, how did you do that?’ I don’t know if I will survive
According to NAMI, other factors may include life stressors such as crime or legal issues, persecution, eviction or homelessness, grief, devastating or debilitating illness, trauma and other crises. I have.
Myth: People who attempt suicide are selfish
“The word selfish has a pejorative connotation and it seems that someone is making this decision for reasons that are usually fun,” says Roeske. “Perhaps myopia is a better way of saying that their focus is really limited to what’s in front of them. And they can’t see the larger context of life’s history, relationships, dimensions of things.”
According to Roeske, people who attempt or kill themselves often want to end the struggle or think of themselves as a burden to their loved ones.
“It’s not a selfish piece of work in the sense that someone makes a decision for their own good,” he added. I’m stressed.I’m so sad because I needed this opportunity to escape.I don’t think I have any other choice.”
Misconception: Suicide Intimidation Gets Attention
Some people think that people who express suicidal thoughts are attention seekers, or that they are aware of the sympathy they may generate but have no intention of dying.
“Regardless of how you react to it, you have to take seriously that there is a kernel of truth in it,” says Roeske, “that this person really feels this (and) I am suffering so much,” he said.
Myth: Suicide is a Choice
“This is a pretty big philosophical question. Where does free will come from? Are we the result of experience?” Roske said. He said the way people with suicidal thoughts think is similar to the way people with substance abuse disorders and chronic relapses think.
“They are not intentionally choosing substances over their children. We haven’t let it down,” says Roeske. Because of neurochemical changes, such individuals are limited in their ability to make perfect choices about what they think is possible and what they can do.
Suicide has a certain degree of will, Roeske said, but suicidal thoughts can be so overwhelming that they overshadow everything else.
Myth: Talking about it leads to or encourages suicide
One myth is, “The fear that talking about suicide will encourage suicide, so people will shy away from it,” Roeske said. “It doesn’t actually lead to an increase in suicide attempts,” he added.
According to NAMI, openly discussing suicide can help reduce stigma and empower people to seek help, reconsider their options and share their stories with others.
Myth: Feeling better eliminates suicide risk
“A clear resolution of the problem could mean that the person made a firm decision to die by suicide and that decision made them feel better,” the magazine said. .
Roeske said the biggest indicator of risk for subsequent suicide attempts is a past suicide attempt or having a family member or friend who has attempted suicide.
Depending on how loved ones and professionals respond to a person’s suicide attempt, temporary relief may be available or support efforts may be initiated, he added. What drove a person to attempt suicide may still be at work.
In addition, Roeske said, “method lethality may escalate.”
Myth: You Can’t Stop Suicide Attempts
Some people think it’s pointless to ask someone about suicide, says Justin Baker, clinical director of the Suicide and Trauma Reduction Initiative for Veterans at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
But Baker added that some studies have found that even when attempts are interrupted or survived, people can perceive them as “a new lease on life.”
A similar myth, according to the NAMI website, is that “when an individual has suicidal thoughts, they always remain suicidal.”
But Baker said there are factors that can influence the level or probability of suicide risk. Self-harm history and genetic makeup are fixed factors, but dynamic factors are situation-specific and therefore always changing, he says, NAMI.
According to the NAMI site, suicide is “often an attempt to control deep and painful emotions and thoughts.” Yes, but not permanently.Those who have had suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide can live long and successful lives.”
“People usually do what they want,” admitted Roeske.
“But there are things we can do along the way to help alleviate some of the problems that are happening to them,” he said. .”